2012 Positional Review – Relief Pitchers: Hits
Now that the 2012 season is over, it’s time to review how my predictions went for each position in fantasy baseball. To that end, I will review my top-10 at each position and give a brief rundown on how each of the ten performed. I’ll also list which player was a “Hit” (someone who lived up to expectations) as well as a “Miss” (the player who simply failed to impress).
Note: All of these rankings are taken from the 2012 BASEBALLGUYS DRAFT GUIDE
For more on the Draft Guide you can click on the link.
For an update on what you missed in the Draft Guide, click on the link.
Things will work a little differently for the pitchers. Instead of a review of the top-10 I’ll detail a series of “Hits” and “Misses” for starters and relievers
RELIEF PITCHER: HITS
There were three relievers, outside my top-20, that I highlighted as must adds in The Draft Guide. If you listened to me and added these three relievers, on the cheap mind you, at the end of the season you would have been left with the following scintillating numbers:
11 wins, 2.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 246 Ks (11.48 K/9), 71 SVs in 193 IP
Oh, and I suggested taking all of these relievers as early as anyone in the industry so you were able to get phenomenal value if you did as instructed (the first man listed was the only one regularly going in the top-250 according to ADP numbers in standard mixed leagues).
Kenley Jansen (#22): Jansen saved 25 games while dominating as heartily as any hurler in the game (a recent procedure should have also cleared up the ongoing concerns with his heart condition). Just take a look at these numbers: .146 BAA, 0.85 WHIP, 13.71 K/9. It seems like the only thing that can hold him back is his health.
Tyler Clippard (#29): The Nationals righty saved 32 games stepping in when Drew Storen went down with injury, and he also added 13 holds for good measure. Clippard had a rough month of September that muddied his ratios but he still had a 3.72 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with well over a K per inning (84 in 72.2 IP). Year after year he just gets batters out.
Sergio Romo (#31): I've said, over an over an over again, that Romo is one of the 10 best relievers in baseball. Still, when Brian Wilson went down with injury the Giants turned to Santiago Casilla to close (he ended the year with 25 saves). After Casilla finally slowed down, Romo turned into 9th inning gold. No,make that platinum. Romo had 23 holds and 14 saves (in 15 chances), and posted a 1.79 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 10.25 K/9 an a 6.30 K/BB ratio. Nothing he did this year changed my mind at all.
Some other hits... and you know they might be few and far between as the relief position this year had more turnover than just about any season I can ever remember.
Huston Street (#12): He was limited to “only” 23 saves because of injury, but he was likely the most dominating closer in baseball not named Chapman, Kimbrel, Rodney or Jansen. Street struck out 10.85 batters per nine innings, posted a 1.85 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and allowed 17 hits, seventeen, in 39 innings of work. Only two other pitchers in the history of the game allowed fewer than his 3.92 hits per nine innings in a season of 35 innings – Mike Adams (3.41 in '09) and Craig Kimbrel (3.88 in '12).
Rafael Betancourt (#17): I’ve been talking him up for years, and he finally got the chance to be a huge fantasy contributor with his 9th inning role with the Rockies. Rafael closed the door on opponents 31 times, had a 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, struck out 57 batters in 57.2 innings and once again impressed with his 4.75 K/BB ratio. Money.
Grant Balfour (#27): He started out the year as the closer, struggled a wee bit, and lost his job to Ryan Cook. Balfour eventually regained the role and went on an amazing run in the second half (0.76 WHIP, .131 BAA over his last 33 games). All told he saved 24 games, had 15 holds, registered nearly a K per inning (72 in 74.2 IP), and dominated with a 2.53 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.
Greg Holland (#36): Seven wins, nine holds and 16 saves for a guy who was chosen in the reserve rounds is pretty darn impressive. Add in his dominating 12.22 K/9 mark and we can overlook the unsightly 4.57 walk per nine mark he posted. If he can cut that walk rate down to the league average, this is a guy who could be a top-15 RP next year.
Jonathan Broxton (#39): He stepped up when Joakim Soria need Tommy John surgery, and on the year Broxton saved 27 game between the Royals and Reds. The 2.48 ERA was impressive, but it should be noted that Broxton, who owns a career K/9 mark of 10.96, struck out only 6.98 batters per nine this season as he decided to just get ground ball after ground ball this season (his 2.22 GB/FB ratio blew away his career 1.49 mark).
Luke Gregerson (#46): Always one of my favorite final round grabs, Gregerson was allowed to do something he had never before been tasked with – working the 9th inning. He only filled in when Street was out, but after three saves in three years Gregerson's owners weren't complaining about his nine saves and 24 holds. Luke posted his best ERA (2.39), and that 1.09 WHIP will play in any league. An extremely stable skill set.
Glen Perkins (#50): Bet you that Perkins wasn't drafted in your 12 team mixed league. At the end of the campaign he had 16 saves and 11 holds, while giving career bests in WHIP (1.04), K/9 (9.98) and BB/9 (2.05). A sneaky in-season add that paid huge dividends.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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Lounge required pants. So they loaned me a pair. Didn't quite fit... http://t.co/lUviM3ER9r